The Kuomintang and the Democratization of Taiwan

Synopsis

"Is the Nationalist party of China (Kuomintang, or KMT) the villain it is sometimes portrayed to be? Or is it the embodiment of the political and moral good that partisans have claimed it to be? The KMT has managed an incredible feat of economic modernization in Taiwan and has become a proponent of democracy, yet its reputation has been marred by brutal acts of repression and by ineptitude. Focusing on the role of KMT party elites in the democratization process. Steven Hood considers the KMT's evolution from a Leninist party-state to a fractious party in a competitive political system. Many contemporary studies suggest that democratization is the product of decisions, compromises, and accidents - the result of relatively short-term confrontations among elites in the opposition and softliners and hardliners within authoritarian regimes. Although these factors are important, the democratization of Taiwan has been a long-term process of elites wrestling within the confines of existing political institutions. Taiwan's case study reminds us that we need to revisit the prerequisites that must underline a true democracy - factors that are too often ignored or dismissed by scholars studying the democratization process." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Boulder, CO
Publication year:
  • 1997